Purpose of the flight and payload description
The payload was a combination of Cerenkov and scintillation detectors used to study spectral cutoffs as a function of latitude and to observe some aspects of temporal variations at high altitude of the alpha particles of the primary cosmic radiation.
The instrument which can be seen described in the scheme at left was a three-element telescope containing a crystal scintillation counter, a Lucite Cerenkov counter, and a Geiger counter tray. The scintillation crystal and the Geiger counter tray were the defining elements of the telescope. All these elements were enclosed in an airtight aluminum cylinder.
For each particle which traversed these elements, the outputs from the Cerenkov counter and the scintillation counter were recorded. A notation was also made when a telescope event was accompanied by the triggering of more than one counter in the tray or by one of the ring of guard counters. The data were recorded on a continuously moving film with an accurate time base superimposed. These data were then reduced by measuring for each event the pulse height from the scintillation counter and from the Cerenkov counter.
These measurements were recorded on a suitable two-dimensional data grid.
Details of the balloon flight
Balloon launched on: 3/20/1956 at 6:27 local
Launch site: Iowa City Municipal Airport, Iowa, US
Balloon launched by: Winzen Research Inc.
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon Winzen - 172.6 ft diameter
Balloon serial number: 172.6-120-V-??
Flight identification number: WRI 553
End of flight (L for landing time, W for last contact, otherwise termination time): 3/20/1956
Balloon flight duration (F: time at float only, otherwise total flight time in d:days / h:hours or m:minutes - ): ~ 9 h
Landing site: In a farm near Rosebush, Michigan, US
- Balloon launch, March 20, 1956 Video of the operations, Van Allen papers collection, University of Iowa
- Flight Summary Log Winzen Research Inc. report (1963)
- Proton Component of the Primary Cosmic Radiation Physical Review, vol. 115, Issue 1, pp. 194
- Second balloon instruments found on farm in Michigan The Daily Iowan, March 21, 1956
If you consider that this website is interesting or useful, you can help to keep it running with just the equivalent of the price of a cup of coffee. Click on the button on the right for more information.